The last patch was a Tank meta in the jungle. Changes to the Jungle Pet damage ratio and the scaling meta meant that the likes of Rammus or Zac became the go-to picks.
This is not the case in Patch 13.21, apart from Rammus being gutted, the buffs to Pets AD ratio brought back the AD junglers into the meta.
One particular pick got too strong...
Changes to Junglers in Pach 13.21
A ton of changes for the Jungle in Patch 13.21. Because this list is about champions, jungle sustain changes aren't going to be explained.
Briar receiving nerfs again~
Tons of buffs to Junglers in Patch 13.21. They aren't as big because their goal is mainly to help out champions that got weak from 13.20 changes.
Buffed champions: Bel'Veth, Master Yi, Morgana, and Hecarim.
In regards to nerfs, the overperforming Rammus got gutted while Briar received another round of nerfs (She's receiving more in Patch 13.22).
To wrap up this section, there are a few sets of changes to make Zyra and Brand Jungle possible. They aren't as big to impact the meta.
Moving now to the list.
Our 5th spot on the list belongs to Nocturne
The terror of sidelaners is our 5th spot on the list.
The changes to Jungle pets AD scaling has made Nocturne return to the meta.
The shift to focus on farming and scaling with the slower paced meta, helps Nocturne to get his level 6 quicker and take over games.
There’s no easier champion than Nocturne to play in the jungle.
Paranoia (Ultimate) is great at catching overextended laners. And once Nocturne jumps on you, fears you with Unspeakable Horror (E), and if you want to stop him, he uses Shroud of Darkness (W) spell shield to block any ability.
Recommended Nocturne build
Once you have Stridebreaker, escaping from Nocturne is almost impossible with the extra slow.
In terms of farming, he has great clear speed thanks to Duskbringer (Q) AOE damage and attack speed buff, and the cleave for the Umbra Blades (Passive) auto attacks.
However, Nocturne does fall off hard if he doesn’t get the ball rolling so knowing how to make use of each Paraonia cooldown is instrumental to your success with the pick.
There's one jungle pick that does Nocturne's job much better. Keep reading to find out.
- Falls off late game
- Doesn't have escape
To learn Nocturne, check our recommended MOBAFire guides.
To deal with the Eternal Nightmare, check CounterStats.
The Druid tree makes the 4th spot on this list
Hypercarries being back has allowed Ivern to make a comeback in the meta. Picks like Jinx, Jax, and even Orianna are great carries for Ivern to play around with.
The new jungle mechanics that make harder junglers to invade also helps Ivern early weak jungling.
What makes Ivern strong? Shields and heals are over the top in the meta. Also, ganks setup with Rootcaller (Q) stuns are deadly and when he gets Daisy! (Ultimate) this only gets better.
Finally, your area control with Brushmaker (W) makes objective fights obnoxious for players facing Ivern.
Recommended Ivern build
The main drawback though is his lack of damage compared to other picks, even though Ivern's sheer utility he provides is top notch, this doesn’t matter if your carries play like bots.
The second problem is that he needs a ton of mastery. There are unique mechanics that you need to learn how to use before having success with Ivern.
Lastly, he’s fragile, although Daisy and your Q can help you escape dangerous situations, once the enemy is top on you, Ivern doesn't have much fighting power.
Still, Ivern is lowkey one of the best picks in this Patch 13.21, and once he has his core build online, the amount of healing and setup makes team fights almost impossible to lose.
When this new meta continues developing, don’t be impressed to see Ivern topping off the charts.
To learn Ivern, check our recommended MOBAFire guides.
To counter this woody druid, check CounterStats.
3. Jarvan IV
The Demacian Prince is our 3rd spot
Saying that Jarvan IV is strong in Season 13 is a disservice to his dominance.
Buffs to Goredrinker and Spear of Shojin has turned the previous menace in the early game into one reliable carry in the game.
The reduced cooldown of Spear Shojin allows him to constantly knock up enemies with his Demacian Standard (E) + Dragon Strike (Q) combo while having enough sustain to be the main frontline.
Recommended Jarvan IV build
What makes Jarvan IV that good? He’s one of the best ganking champions in the game. Especially in early, being engaged by an E+Q combo usually spells dead in most scenarios.
Also, Jarvan IV Cataclysm (Ultimate) lockdown is one of the best tools to initiate fights in the game (Especially to punish carries).
Despite these clear strengths, Jarvan IV falls off harder in the game if he does not get going in the early game.
He has tough matchups against high mobility champions, one example of this is Ezreal.
Lastly, Jarvan IV has neat mechanics with his skill shots that require you to invest some time to master.
Still, Jarvan IV is one of the most dominant and relatively easier Jungler champions to play in Patch 13.21.
To learn Jarvan IV, check our recommended MOBAFire guides.
Want to counter him? Check CounterStats for the best picks against Jarvan IV.
The new champion head rush to the 2nd spot of the list
Nerfs in Patch 13.21 did not stop Briar rampage. As of right now, she still remains one of the best champions in the jungle to snowball and take over games.
Although the current jungle rewards farming, Briar sheer skirmish power disrupts any game for her to take over.
Briar is pretty straightforward. Use your Blood Frenzy (W) to get closer to targets, autoattack them, and chomp them with Snack Attack (W2) to finish the job. If they are running away from you use your Head Rush (Q), and in case things get troublesome use your Chilling Scream (E) to either, peace out to run from the fight or to stun targets in the wall.
Also, let’s not forget that she has a semi-global ultimate that jumps into targets and fears them (Remember Nocturne?).
Seems pretty simple but is darn effective, stats back this up.
There is certainly a skill requirement to play Briar, especially to get used to her frenzy mechanic. But after a couple of games, you can start to take over games.
Recommended Briar build
Stridebreaker + Black Cleaver is the most common one, which makes her unkillable and hard to run away from, something Briar likes.
However, there’s a one-shot build with Youumu’s Blade and Hail of Blades rune setup which snowball harder and makes Briar OP to kill carries with her Certain Death (Ultimate).
Despite these strengths, Briar does have flaws currently. First, she has tough matchups against champions like Rammus or Jax that nullify her AA damage.
Second, she is ult reliant to play the team fights. You miss them and your utility value goes down by a ton.
And finally, if she gets behind, playing Briar it's punishing (Especially against the first pick on the list).
If you want to get dirty and skirmish 24/7. Briar is your pick.
To learn the best ways of Briar, check our recommended MOBAFire guides.
To counter the Restrained Hunger, check CounterStats.
The king of the Jungle in Patch 13.21
Graves in Patch 13.21 is unbeatable.
The recent Pet Jungle AD ratio and Youmuu's Ghostblade being OP has turned Graves into the best bully pick in the jungle.
Even at level one, Graves dominates most junglers. The Quickdraw (E) armor and being ranged allows him to invade most junglers and come out on top.
But that's not all. If you don't invade, Graves's clearing is completely fine, with his End of the Line (Q) and Smoke Screen (W) AoE damage.
Recommended Graves build
What takes Graves to the next level though, is his build.
Lethality and Graves just do way too much damage, is not weird that once he gets ahead the game is over.
Although Graves is easily the best Jungler in this patch, he does require a ton of mastery.
There's a lot into playing Graves masterfully, from mechanics and using your W or Ultimate in creative ways, to the strategic side which requires a lot of forethought.
Lastly, Graves when behind can feel useless with his lack of utility compared to other picks.
Still, if you like to duel and become a jungler hyper carry, there's no better pick than Graves.
- Short Range
- Requires a lot of mastery (Be willing to put a ton of games to play him well)
- Vulnerable to hard CC (If you catch him...)
To learn Graves, check our recommended MOBAFire guides.
To counter Graves, check CounterStats.